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Language under stress: The poetics of Rae Armantrout

Language under stress: The poetics of Rae Armantrout
Language under stress: The poetics of Rae Armantrout
This thesis explores the role of metaphor and scientific vision in the work of Rae Armantrout, drawing upon cognitive theories of metaphor and interlanguage. It suggests that Armantrout’s poetry offers a compelling opportunity to explore difficulties of language, particularly those that occur when poets use methods and metaphors typically associated with science. Chapter One sets out an Introduction to Armantrout’s work followed by Chapter Two, which then goes on to locate the origins of Armantrout’s poetics of inquiry and considers how her use of scientific and religious vision works alongside her personal origin stories to create a unique uncertainty. This uncertainty fosters an environment of inquiry and helps uncover what Armantrout labels the problem of ‘ventriloquy’. Chapter Three takes up this problem and asks whether Armantrout’s failure to avoid ‘the interventions of capitalism into consciousness’1 distances her writing from its Language writing origins and demonstrates an increased conflict between lyric and Language that arises from a growing interest in problems of self. Chapter Four applies theories of conceptual metaphor and conceptual integration networks to the poetry in Money Shot and Just Saying. It argues that these theories are the most fertile and relevant for the analysis of Armantrout’s poetry. By engaging with scientific language and vision in her use of hyper-extended metaphor, Armantrout’s readers are forced to create new connections from ‘foreign’ rules and associations. Chapter Five adapts the linguistics concept of Interlanguage in order to navigate these difficulties and demonstrates how Armantrout’s use of science and metaphor contributes to the formation of a new poetic Interlanguage. In conclusion, this thesis will consider whether Armantrout’s poetry offers a valuable method of creating accessibility and understanding in the claims given by both science and poetry by paralleling the action of metaphor: thinking of one in terms of another to find, destroy and create connections.
University of Southampton
Bennett-Mills, Briony Lucy
e50f7c64-4d35-4f08-b9a4-df66b11a2c41
Bennett-Mills, Briony Lucy
e50f7c64-4d35-4f08-b9a4-df66b11a2c41
May, William
f41afa4c-1ccc-4ac6-83b6-9f5d9aad0f67
Middleton, Peter
9f64f346-a05f-4e54-bbf4-600c87a2b237

Bennett-Mills, Briony Lucy (2018) Language under stress: The poetics of Rae Armantrout. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 249pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis explores the role of metaphor and scientific vision in the work of Rae Armantrout, drawing upon cognitive theories of metaphor and interlanguage. It suggests that Armantrout’s poetry offers a compelling opportunity to explore difficulties of language, particularly those that occur when poets use methods and metaphors typically associated with science. Chapter One sets out an Introduction to Armantrout’s work followed by Chapter Two, which then goes on to locate the origins of Armantrout’s poetics of inquiry and considers how her use of scientific and religious vision works alongside her personal origin stories to create a unique uncertainty. This uncertainty fosters an environment of inquiry and helps uncover what Armantrout labels the problem of ‘ventriloquy’. Chapter Three takes up this problem and asks whether Armantrout’s failure to avoid ‘the interventions of capitalism into consciousness’1 distances her writing from its Language writing origins and demonstrates an increased conflict between lyric and Language that arises from a growing interest in problems of self. Chapter Four applies theories of conceptual metaphor and conceptual integration networks to the poetry in Money Shot and Just Saying. It argues that these theories are the most fertile and relevant for the analysis of Armantrout’s poetry. By engaging with scientific language and vision in her use of hyper-extended metaphor, Armantrout’s readers are forced to create new connections from ‘foreign’ rules and associations. Chapter Five adapts the linguistics concept of Interlanguage in order to navigate these difficulties and demonstrates how Armantrout’s use of science and metaphor contributes to the formation of a new poetic Interlanguage. In conclusion, this thesis will consider whether Armantrout’s poetry offers a valuable method of creating accessibility and understanding in the claims given by both science and poetry by paralleling the action of metaphor: thinking of one in terms of another to find, destroy and create connections.

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Published date: August 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433197
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433197
PURE UUID: 9cd428a4-7572-4445-8715-9aea219e9603

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Date deposited: 09 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Aug 2019 16:30

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Contributors

Thesis advisor: William May
Thesis advisor: Peter Middleton

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